Tim Ditman

Thursday morning fire causes $90,000 damage to Rantoul home

RANTOUL — No one was hurt, but three rooms of a tri-level Rantoul home were gutted by fire Thursday morning

Fire Chief Ken Waters said an electric skillet left on in the kitchen prompted crews to respond to 1401 Kenneth Drive at 9:31 a.m. The owner had left the house about 20 minutes before the fire was reported.

Panel recommends helicopters to map aquifer

MAHOMET — The latest tool for protecting our area’s source of drinking water: helicopters.

An advisory group of local elected officials and community members has recommended the state commit $19.8 million to the UI’s Prairie Research Institute for helicopter-based time-domain electromagnetics, or H-TEM technology, to better map the Mahomet Aquifer.

Kidnapping nets 5 years

CHAMPAIGN — A Danville man who admitted forcing his ex-girlfriend into a vehicle at a Rantoul gas station and taking off toward his hometown has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Ronald Poke, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Judge Tom Difanis to kidnapping and stalking charges. Difanis sentenced him to two five-year terms to be served concurrently.

Updated: Woman charged with stabbing husband

URBANA — A Rantoul woman remained in the Champaign County jail Monday afternoon on a charge that she stabbed her husband in the chest during an argument during the weekend.

Prosecutors charged 38-year-old Sandra Findlay with aggravated domestic battery. A judge left her bond at $75,000 and gave her until Sept. 18 to hire an attorney.

Paxton man ticketed in wreck that killed Loda woman

PAXTON — The man authorities said ran a stop sign last week at a rural intersection in Ford County, causing an accident that killed his passenger, has been given three traffic tickets.

Court records show Kevin Patterson, 46, of Paxton is accused of not wearing a seat belt, disregarding a stop sign and driving on a revoked license. He’s due in court Aug. 15.

Thomasboro to make only remaining officer interim police chief

A change in leadership at the Thomasboro police department may mean the tiny Champaign County village goes back to a part-time police chief.

After 5 months on job, Rea resigns as Thomasboro police chief

THOMASBORO — After serving for about five months, Bob Rea has stepped down as Thomasboro police chief to return to the city of Champaign.

An email newsletter from the city said Rea will be a public works customer service representative.  He was a Champaign police lieutenant before taking the Thomasboro job, which came with a $45,000 salary.

Fisher mobile home a total loss

FISHER — A Fisher mobile home is a total loss, but fire officials said a smoke alarm did its job to alert residents during a blaze over the weekend.

UI wrestler killed in I-57 wreck may have been hit by 3 vehicles

RANTOUL — State police say a University of Illinois wrestler who was killed on Interstate 57 last week after an accident may have been hit by three vehicles.

Flames consume machine shed north of Fisher

FISHER — A machine shed on a rural property in rural Fisher is a total loss after it was consumed by flames Friday afternoon.

Sangamon Valley Fire Assistant Chief Darren Kuhns said crews were called to 3340 County Road 400 East at around 1:30 p.m.

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